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The Science Behind The Big Pumpkin

Largest+Pumpkin+in+New+York+State%2C+grown+by+Karl+Hoist+in+Clarence%2C+NY.
Largest Pumpkin in New York State, grown by Karl Hoist in Clarence, NY.

Largest Pumpkin in New York State, grown by Karl Hoist in Clarence, NY.

(composite image)

(composite image)

Largest Pumpkin in New York State, grown by Karl Hoist in Clarence, NY.

Angelique Izquierdo, Science/Tech Editor

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As Halloween approaches the spooky season is underway with its annual festivities. Among the many strange and fascinating things that come along with this holiday is the most mind boggling of them all… giant pumpkins.

The current record holders for the world’s largest pumpkins are well over 2,000 pounds but how will that barrier be broken? Genetic engineering, that’s how. Using a newly invented tool called CRISPR which was originally invented to correct diseases in humans, one goal of the scientific community is to use it on crops and animal experiments before any human testing begins.

Now yes, CRISPR has not yet been applied to making these giant pumpkins but rather that’s the likely future of the unusual contest. In finding out the methods of these current record pumpkin growers it’s said to have more to do with physics than biology.

The breeding of different types of pumpkins, as well as the special mixes of nutrients, and hundreds of gallons of water are all important factors to a successful giant pumpkin. Growers are warned to be careful with the water however, because your pumpkin could actually explode.

The size can be harshly determined by the growth weight simply due to if increased too fast the pumpkin could break. It’s said that in absence of gravity a pumpkin can grow forever.

Just a little over three hours from Watertown, NY in Clarence NY is a man with the state’s largest pumpkin weighing in at 2,000 pounds. Now that you have a good idea of the basics and secrets behind this holiday tradition, try and grow one yourself; can you grow a giant pumpkin?

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The Science Behind The Big Pumpkin